Justin Berkmann

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Justin Berkmann (born December 1963), is a DJ and nightclub owner. He is the second son of Joseph Berkmann and his second wife, Jean Berkmann (née Barwis) and younger brother of Marcus Berkmann, an author. They were both educated at Highgate School in North London.[1]

Berkmann is the co-founder of the nightclub and brand, Ministry of Sound[2] (now MSHK Group). Since its conception in 1991, the company has grown from a nightclub in London’s Elephant and Castle to a multi-media business. Berkmann's initial involvement was from January 1990 until May 1994, and he was resident DJ and Artistic Director during that period. He then rejoined in 2006 to build their franchise clubs in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

It was found out in August 2018 that Berkmann is 4th cousin once removed to Coronation Street actor Liam Bairstow who plays Alex Warner.

Professional career[edit]

Berkmann was introduced to house music by a friend, who recommended Farley "Jackmaster" Funk's track "Funkin With the Drums Again" to him. Berkmann soon started to DJ, and in 1986 he moved to New York City, where he visited the Paradise Garage, which he described as "an amazing club. It had lights, darkness, music, quiet – everything you wanted. I thought it was the perfect template, so I came back to London in 1988, determined to do something similar". He then spent a year looking for a suitable site, finding a car park in Elephant and Castle "with a roof covered in pigeon poo". He joined forces with entrepreneur James Palumbo and Humphrey Waterhouse at the end of 1989 and 21 months later they opened Ministry of Sound.[3] Berkmann was in charge of booking the talent and being resident DJ until mid-1994. Berkmann sourced American DJ talent like Tony Humphries from the New York and Newark scenes (which centred on Club Zanzibar and the Paradise Garage). Following this, Berkmann continued to DJ. He rejoined Ministry of Sound in 2006 to assist with the design and sound installation in the Ministry of Sound, Singapore, later to become Venues Development Manager for MoS International, and co-creating the concept and design for their club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Austen Derek.

In 2011, one of his older Ministry of Sound mixes was released in Live & Remastered.


  1. ^ Highgate School Register 7th Edn 1833-1988, Ed. Patrick Hughes & Ian F Davies 1989
  2. ^ Pilcher, Tim (2008-04-07). E, the Incredibly Strange History of Ecstasy. Running Press. pp. 145–. ISBN 978-0-7624-3184-7. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  3. ^ Simpson, Dave (13 November 2018). "How we made: Ministry of Sound". theguardian.com. Retrieved 30 November 2018.